Henderson Tuck is one of Ontario’s oldest law firms, built on the proud history of Henderson Johnston Fournier.
In 1886, two young lawyers—J.A. Hutcheson and A.A. Fisher—formed a partnership and established the law firm Hutcheson & Fisher. They practised together for a quarter of a century. Hutcheson would continue in the firm until 1929—a total of 43 years.
Fisher left the firm in 1911 and was replaced by Robert Driver. The firm became Hutcheson & Driver. Ten years later, in 1921, Wilfrid Huycke of Cobourg, Ontario, joined the firm. Huycke had graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School prior to World War One, but served overseas in the Canadian Armed Forces with the 18th Canadian Field Artillery. Returning postwar in 1919, Huycke took a refresher law course at Harvard University before coming to Brockville to join the firm. The firm became Hutcheson, Driver & Huycke.
In 1924, Huycke moved to Peterborough to open his own law firm, making way for James MacLaren to become the new partner. The firm was now Hutcheson Driver & Maclaren. While still with the firm, MacLaren was elected President of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations.
1929 saw the retirement of J.A. Hutcheson. The firm became Driver & MacLaren. Maclaren would retire in 1953.
In 1952, John Edward Henderson joined the firm as an Associate. When MacLaren retired in 1953, Henderson became a partner. The firm was now Driver & Henderson. Henderson had practised with the Toronto law firm Haines & Haines (now Thomson Rogers) for two years before settling in Brockville. The new partnership lasted only a year, when Robert Driver died at the age of 68. He had practised law with the firm for 43 years.
One year after Driver’s passing, in 1954, John Ross Matheson became Henderson’s new partner. The firm became Matheson & Henderson. Matheson later pursed a political career, winning the federal Liberal seat of the riding of Leeds in 1961. He served on Parliament Hill through 1968. During that time, Matheson—as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson—was instrumental in creating the new Canadian flag and is known today as “One of the Fathers of the Canadian Flag.” Once retired from federal politics, Matheson was appointed to the Bench as a county court judge. In 2013, the City of Brockville recognized Matheson’s contributions to Canadian history with the Maple Leaf Flag by renaming the street fronting the historic Brockville Courthouse “John Ross Matheson Way.” Matheson passed away later that year.
Hugh Hart became another partner with the firm in 1962, having joined as an Associate in 1958. The firm was now Matheson Henderson & Hart.
The 1960s brought more growth and change. In 1966, Neville Johnston joined the firm as an Associate. With the appointment of Matheson to the Bench in early 1969, Johnston became partner and the firm name changed to Henderson, Hart & Johnston. Later that same year, Paul Fournier joined the firm as partner and the name changed again—to Henderson Hart Johnston & Fournier.
In 1970, David Algie joined the firm as an Associate, becoming a partner three years later. The firm was now Henderson Hart Johnston Fournier & Algie. Algie left in 1979 to open his own practice and later became Assistant Crown Attorney in Ottawa. On Algie’s departure, the firm welcomed Robert Hammond as a new partner. The name was now Henderson Hart Johnston Fournier & Hammond.
In 1986, the firm marked 100 years of history. Hugh Hart had left in 1982 to open a solo practice, and the firm was known as Henderson Johnston Fournier & Hammond. In 1995, Hammond would also leave to open his own practice, the firm then becoming Henderson Johnston Fournier.
John Henderson retired from the firm in December of 2000, having practised law for over 50 years. He was an Honorary Life Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Henderson passed away in 2016, at the age of 90.
In 2013, Trea Tuck was called to the Bar of Ontario. Having joined the firm of Henderson Johnston Fournier as an articling student the year prior, Tuck continued to practice law with partners Paul Fournier and Neville Johnston until becoming the Managing Partner in 2014.
In 2016, both Johnston and Fournier were made Honorary Life Members of the Law Society of Upper Canada (now Ontario), each having practised law for 50 years. The following year, both partners announced their retirement from active practice by the end of 2017.
Mr. Fournier passed away in 2020, at the age of 84. Not only was Paul a respected lawyer, he was a true community leader and the champion of many causes. In 2007 he was recognized by the Brockville Chamber of Commerce as the Citizen or the Year. And his legend lives on, in 2022 he was honoured with a Lifetime Business Achievement Award. Mr. Johnston is enjoying his retirement and keeping busy by writing poetry and fiction novels.
The firm became Henderson Tuck in June of 2021 and began practising at 58 James Street West, Brockville.